Author Archives: Mountain Orthodontics

Orthodontic Retainers

That day has finally come – it is time to get your braces removed.  So now what?  Once your braces have been removed your teeth will still need support while they are getting used to their new positions.  The job of the retainers is to provide this support.  Unfortunately, there also may be an orthodontic relapse or shifting of your teeth if the retainers are not worn or cared for properly.  Here are some options if you experience orthodontic relapse.

Watch and Monitor

It may be the best-case scenario when you have noticed a minor shift in your teeth.  Usually, this can be quickly corrected by regularly using your retainer.  Making and attending follow up appointments with both your dentist and orthodontist is also important so they can keep a close eye on any orthodontic relapse and address the situation if need be.

Retainer Use

Usually orthodontic relapse happens because of improper or infrequent retainer use.  Retainers are most often a custom made, removable appliance.  The purpose of a retainer is to support the teeth while they are settling into their new positions.

If your retainer feels tight or makes your teeth hurt when you are wearing it, this is a sign that you are experiencing some shifting and need to start to wear your retainer more frequently.

If your retainer no longer fits, make an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible to discuss making a new retainer or possible retreatment options.

Bonded (glued –in) retainers are also sometimes used.  If the glue comes off these retainers it must be replaced as soon as possible.  Also, these bonded retainers can become active and start to move teeth.  If you notice this happening it is very important to see your orthodontist right away before problems develop with the gum and bone around the teeth.

Re-treatment

In severe cases of orthodontic relapse, a second round of orthodontic treatment might be necessary to correct the problem.  If this is the case, there are a number of different options that are available to correct the problem.  These include:

  • Clear braces
  • Traditional metal braces
  • Clear plastic aligners

Remember:

Do keep in mind that not all shifting is due to improper or infrequent retainer use. Some settling should be expected after your braces have been removed.

In order to avoid an orthodontic relapse, make sure to wear your retainer and attend your post-braces orthodontic appointments.  If you lose or damage your retainer, come in at once to get it repaired or replaced. If you have any further questions about orthodontic relapse or the options that are available to correct it, please contact me today.  Let’s keep those teeth in perfect alignment and remember to keep on smiling.

 

A New Year, A New You

It’s a new year and a fresh start.  If you have been thinking about getting braces, then now is the perfect time.  Braces will not only give you straight teeth and a beautiful smile, they can offer other health benefits as well.

Who Needs Braces?

If you are suffering from any of the following problems, then you might benefit from orthodontic treatment.

  • Braces can correct overbites and underbites.
  • Braces can straighten crooked teeth, correct crowding problems and align your teeth for a beautiful smile.
  • Braces can alleviate jaw pressure and help you chew your food.
  • Orthodontic treatment, in conjunction with other medical treatments, can also improve breathing in some situations.

What to Expect?

Orthodontic appointments start with a consultation.  During this appointment Dr. Ball will discuss the general problems with your teeth and bite and give you an idea of the treatment.  After this  records appointment will be done and the treatment plan finalized.

Regardless of what type of treatment you choose, you will be required to attend regular appointments, so we can assess the progress and make adjustments.  You may experience soreness in the few days after each follow up appointment.  Don’t panic, it is only your teeth getting used to the pressure of the newly adjusted wire or aligner.

You will be responsible for keeping up on your dental hygiene (regular brushing and flossing) to prevent cavities or plaque build-up.  It is also advisable that you avoid certain foods during your orthodontic treatments, as they may damage your braces and set back the overall treatment process.

What Type of Treatment is Right for You?

The type of orthodontic treatment that is right for you will greatly depend on what type of orthodontic needs you have.  Two of the more popular choices that are applied to many orthodontic needs are:

  • Traditional metal braces – this approach is tried, tested and true and is the most popular and cost-effective approach. Traditional metal braces consist of brackets that are fastened to each tooth and connected with wire.  This wire is adjusted to align and straighten your teeth.
  • Invisalign braces – this type of orthodontic procedure uses custom fit clear, plastic aligners that adjust and straighten your teeth over a period of time.

Why not start off the new year with a resolution to fix your teeth and bite!  The end result of perfectly aligned teeth and a beautiful smile will make the journey well worth it.  If you have any questions about the various orthodontic treatments available or would like to book your initial exam, please contact us today.  I look forward to working with you.

 

3 Reasons Why Adults Might Need Orthodontic Treatment

Although orthodontic treatment and braces are usually associated with your teenage years, it is never too late to straighten your teeth.  Nowadays more and more adults are deciding to get braces.  Here are a few reasons why adults should get braces and live life enjoying that perfect smile.

Why Get Braces?

Believe it or not, braces do more than just straighten teeth.  As an adult, straight teeth may be secondary to fixing bite problems and overall function.  Proper orthodontic treatment will make your teeth easier to clean and can relax strained jaw muscles.  A quick trip to your orthodontist can pinpoint problem areas and create a personalized plan on how to correct them.

Self-Confidence

Research has shown that straight teeth and proper tooth alignment can improve self-esteem.  A confident smile can help you in many aspects of your life whether personal or professional.

Your Oral Health

Braces will improve your oral health.  Orthodontic treatment will correct:

  • Malocclusions – This condition refers to crooked or crowded teeth, which can lead to a “bad or destructive bite”. Dentist will often refer adults to an orthodontist because of a bite that is damaging to the teeth or gums.  Some of the damage that can result from a bad bite is worn teeth, gum recession, broken teeth, and tipped teeth.
  • Difficulty cleaning your teeth – Crooked or crowded teeth make your teeth difficult to clean.  This can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum and bond problems.  All of these problems can lead to tooth loss.  Straight teeth are easier to keep clean, thus reducing the risk that other problems will develop.

Flexible Treatments

Many adults are wary of braces for the simple fact that they don’t want metal brackets on their teeth.

Fortunately, there are many different orthodontic treatment options that are available today that do not use the traditional metal brace.  Options such as Invisalign or ceramic braces will minimize how noticeable your treatment is.

You may also be surprised that the overall treatment time is less time than you may think.  Talk to your orthodontist to set up a treatment option that works for you.

Your insurance may also cover some or all the costs associated with your treatment. Make sure to inquire with your insurance company to see if they will cover your orthodontic treatment.

It’s Worth It!

Orthodontic treatment as an adult can be a difficult decision but, like all difficult decisions, it is remarkably rewarding!

 

Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces – Which One is Right For You?

Although there are many different brace options available, two of the most popular are Invisalign and the traditional braces.  Here is an overview of each and some of the advantages of Invisalign and traditional braces.

Invisalign

At Mountain Orthodontics, an Invisalign treatment plan will be specifically designed for you by Dr. Ball.  Clear aligner therapy, such as Invisalign, includes a series of aligners which apply pressure to gradually move teeth to the desired position.  Aligners are removable and must be worn consistently to work.   Invisalign aligners are BPA free and clear, making them almost invisible.

For Invisalign to work, you are expected to wear them at least 22 hours per day, removing the aligners only to eat or brush and floss your teeth.

Some of the advantages of Invisalign include:

  • They are almost invisible, making them extremely popular for adults.
  • Oral hygiene may be easier. Clear aligner therapy does not require wires or brackets, making oral hygiene less time consuming than with traditional braces.
  • Minimal impact on your daily routine. You can eat and drink with fewer restrictions with Invisalign braces because you take the aligners out before each meal.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are a tried, tested and true way of straightening teeth and can be used for a wide range of orthodontic problems such as overbite and complex tooth alignment.

Traditional braces are comprised of a set of brackets and bands that are bonded to each individual tooth.  They are all connected by a wire that is tightened and readjusted at your orthodontic appointments.  This pressure corrects a wide range of orthodontic problems leaving you with a straight, beautiful smile and great overall bite.

Some of the advantages to the traditional brace method include:

  • Suitable for any age and can be used for a wide range of orthodontic treatments.
  • They have a wider application than Invisalign braces.
  • They are more suitable for younger patients whose mouths are constantly evolving.

Which Type is Right For You?

There is no easy answer to this question.  Both brace types offer distinct advantages and both have limitations.    At Mountain Orthodontics we offer both Invisalign and traditional brace treatments and can assist you in determining the right orthodontic treatment for you.

 

Vacationing with Braces

Thai womanwith a big smile laying on the grassAlthough a daily routine of brace care is an important part of the overall experience, it is quite unrealistic to expect that you will be able to keep up this routine for the entire duration of your treatment.

Unfortunately, life happens and sometimes your brace care may have to take a backseat.  This is especially true when it comes to holidays and vacations.  As the premier orthodontist in Squamish, I would like to offer you the following guidelines of vacationing with braces.

Bringing the Essentials

Even though you are finally going on that dream vacation, you still need to be somewhat responsible and not totally neglect your daily brace care routine.  When you are busy packing your usual toiletries, make sure to pack the following items for your braces:

  • Toothpick or floss pick
  • Travel toothbrush – use a soft bristled brush
  • Mouth rinse or a water bottle
  • Orthodontic wax to cover any protruding wires that may occur over the course of the holiday
  • A small hand held mirror that you can use to examine any potential brace related problems

Remember:

If you have any questions about what to pack in your brace kit, or how to care for your braces while on vacation, please contact me today.

If you are on vacation and a problem with your braces does arise, I recommend contacting my office as soon as possible so that we can troubleshoot the problem together.

Foods to Avoid

Unfortunately, even though you are on a holiday, some of the same food rules still apply, here is a refresher of foods to avoid while on the road:

  • Chewy or gummy food
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard candies or cookies
  • Nuts and chips

I suggest avoiding these and other unfriendly foods to prevent a broken bracket or broken or damaged wire.  Either of these unpleasant situations can seriously dampen even the best vacation.

Keep Clean

Regardless of whether you are on vacation or not, hygiene is an important part of your total brace care.  This is especially true if you are using a retainer or Invisalign braces.  It is important that you keep your retainer container or Invisalign trays clean and know where they are at all times.

You do not want to get into the bad habit of not wearing your retainer while on vacation because you cannot find it or it is dirty.  The same guidelines apply to Invisalign braces because each tray is so important for the overall brace process.

Holidays are always an exciting opportunity to break from the norm and get out and experience new places and cultures; However, proper brace care is still important and must be maintained, even while on vacation.

Enjoy your vacation!